CDC offers hurricane safety tips

By Brian Ward

In the wake of Tropical Storm Hilary in California and Hurricane Idalia in the Gulf Coast, make sure that your patients and staff know how to stay safe after a major storm or flooding. The CDC has put out a list of post-hurricane safety tips to share with patients, including:

  • Wash yourself with soap or alcohol-based sanitizer if you come into contact with floodwater. As it rises floodwater collects germs, chemicals, fecal waste, and other substances that can make people sick or cause infection
  • Throw out food that’s come in contact with flood or stormwater. Don’t drink stormwater or floodwater (see bullet above)
  • Disinfect any cuts or injuries, no matter how small, to avoid infection
  • Don’t drive in flooded areas—your vehicle can stall or be swept away
  • Don’t use wet electrical devices. Turn off the power at the main breaker in your house if the device is still plugged in and wait for an electrician to check the device before using it
  • Use flashlights rather than open flame for illumination when possible. If you need to light a fire or candle, make sure it’s away from flammable materials and you have an extinguisher near. Especially if you’re indoors
  • Never use gasoline powered generators or other devices indoors, as they emit carbon monoxide that can build up in enclosed spaces. If your CO detector goes off, leave the building immediately and call 911
  • Avoid damaged buildings until the authorities can inspect them
  • Keep a watch out for downed power lines. Call 911 if you see one
  • Avoid stray and wild animals. And injured or scared animal is a dangerous one.  Call 911 if you see one
  • Wear bug spray or repellant to avoid vector borne diseases. Many insects spawn in standing water and with more people outside so your area might see an increase in mosquito and tick bites